How to Make Paper Seed Cups


Several varieties of vegetables, plants and flowers perform better if started indoors or in greenhouses rather than directly in the ground or in containers. Small seed pots usually are used for several weeks, then discarded. You can make your own seed-starting pots with old newspaper without spending money on seed cups. Aside from being cost effective, these cups also are biodegradable. You can transplant them directly into the ground or into container gardens without disrupting the root system. Plants experience less transfer shock and the roots grow right through the newspaper as it breaks down in the soil.

Step 1

Cut one strip of newspaper per pot you plan to create. Each piece should be about 6 inches wide and at least 10 inches long.

Step 2

Lay a newspaper strip on a flat surface. Place your soda can so it's on its side at the end of your strip. Position the can so at least 2 inches of paper are below the bottom of the can and the other 4 inches are against the side of the can.

Step 3

Begin to roll the can, taking the paper with you, until you wrap the entire strip around the outside of the can.

Step 4

Hold the can in one hand and use the other hand to press and fold the protruding 2 inches of paper inward toward the center of the can to create your flower pot's bottom. Press and fold all the way around until you've folded all the paper inward.

Step 5

Slide the paper pot off of the can and hold it to keep it from opening up and coming apart. Fill with moist potting soil and sit on a tray to help it keep its shape.

Step 6

Create and fill more pots and place them up against each other on your tray. Leaning the pots against each other uses their filled weight to help hold all the pots together. Tie string or twine around your group of seed pots for extra support.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Soda can
  • Tray
  • Potting soil
  • Twine or string


  • University of California-Davis Children's Garden Program: Making Paper Pots
Keywords: newspaper pots, paper seed pots, make paper pots

About this Author

Lillian Downey began writing professionally in 2008. She served as editor-in-chief of "Nexus Journal of Literature and Art" and as an assistant fiction editor at the prestigious "Antioch Review." She attended Wright State University, where she studied creative writing, women's studies, and health care.

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